I’ve followed Simon’s blog for years. You have to in my business. I’ve worked in PR and Brand Consultancy for more than eight years, working on everything from toys to 5* hotels, and pretty much everything in between. I now have my own boutique communications agency, Novel Communications. Over the last few years I have worked for 14 hotels, launching or relaunching four properties and working with travel destinations and tourist boards in the UK and abroad. I have worked for Radisson Edwardian and Hilton Hotels and consulted for independent hotels. Until recently I was Account Director at Mason Williams, and part of the team responsible for launching the 5* May Fair Hotel, one of the most talked about hotels in London.
One thing my experience has taught me is that hotels have one of the largest audiences of any business. Understanding the audience is the key to business, hotel business in particular. It’s also the foundation of PR and Marketing. If you know who your audience is you can find a way to talk to them. For a toy company, you’re talking to kids, parents and gifters. Simple. For a hotel, your audience is multifaceted. Potentially your audience is domestic travel; international travel; business travel; leisure travel; conference, meetings and events; hotel trade; F&B (trade and consumer); health and beauty lovers (spa and gym); luxury; budget; celebrity; family; couples; groups; online; social…The list goes on. You are talking to businesses and consumers, and sometimes you are not even talking to the end user. It is a big and often daunting job. However, one advantage hoteliers have, is that you do this for a living. It’s your job to know your guests, to offer hospitality, to make them feel at home and at ease. It’s your job to know your audience and know how to talk to them. That’s half the challenge accomplished. Now you just need to think outside of the audience in those four walls and think of how to speak to that audience on a mass level. That’s where the fun begins!
Before I sign off and leave you in Simon’s most capable hands, I will just leave you with this one thought. PR is one of, if not the most cost effective route to growing your business and brand. The returns that PR offers is by far and away great than that of any other form of communication, save one on one. PR is not this daunting beast – there is a PR solution that can work for everyone. That’s the joy of it. You can take the elements that work, to support the areas that need a boost. For example, you might need a boost of targeted press exposure, to make a little noise at a quiet time or year, or to get consumers planning their holiday and travel plans at priority selling times for you. So why not work with a PR consultant to run a press trip to your property. Target between four and six journalists that hit the right audience for you and create a press trip that offers them an experience of your property and locale. For a relatively small investment you could receive feature articles in targeted press which are worth more than £40,000 it terms of equivalent advertising spend. That is potentially a 10:1 ROI and more importantly, it is a major boost to your property.
Maybe this would work for you, maybe another solution would be a better fit for you, but one thing’s for sure, there is a route to your audience that will grow your business and brand. I would be happy to help you find it, so drop me a line if you want to bounce any ideas off me.
In the mean time, thanks for the hospitality.